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  • Background and Project DescriptionChapter 04: Site Selection and Alternatives

  •  Background and Project Description SITE SELECTION AND ALTERNATIVES

     

    INCH CAPE OFFSHORE LIMITED ONSHORE ENVIRONMENTAL STATEMENT

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    Contents  

    Contents  .........................................................................................................................................  i  

    List  of  Tables  ..................................................................................................................................  iii  

    List  of  Figures  .................................................................................................................................  iii  

    Abbreviations  and  Acronyms  .........................................................................................................  iv  

    4.1   Introduction  ...................................................................................................................  1  

    4.2   The  Project  .....................................................................................................................  1  

    4.2.1   Context  ..................................................................................................................................  1  

    4.2.2   Grid  Connection  Agreement  .................................................................................................  1  

    4.3   Site  Selection  and  Design  Refinement  .............................................................................  3  

    4.4   Alternatives  ....................................................................................................................  4  

    4.4.1   Technical  Design  Decisions  ....................................................................................................  4  

    4.4.2   Export  Cables  Requirements  .................................................................................................  5  

    4.5   Landfall  Screening  Options  .............................................................................................  5  

    4.5.1   Identification  of  Potential  Landfall  Areas  ..............................................................................  5  

    4.6   Site  Selection  –  Stage  1:  Study  Area  ................................................................................  6  

    4.6.1   Identification  of  Study  Area  ..................................................................................................  6  

    4.7   Site  Selection  –  Stage  2:  Identification  ............................................................................  8  

    4.8   Site  Selection  –  Stage  3:  Assessment  ...............................................................................  9  

    4.8.1   Overview  ...............................................................................................................................  9  

    4.8.2   Landscape  and  Visual  Analysis  ............................................................................................  10  

    4.8.3   Engineering  Considerations  .................................................................................................  11  

    4.8.4   Development  Programme  ...................................................................................................  11  

    4.8.5   Economic  Considerations  ....................................................................................................  11  

    4.8.6   Land  Availability  ..................................................................................................................  11  

    4.8.7   Summary  of  Stage  3  Assessment  ........................................................................................  12  

    4.9   Site  Selection  –  Stage:  Further  Analysis  .........................................................................  17  

    4.9.1   Overview  .............................................................................................................................  17  

    4.9.2   Site  PL3  Analysis  –  Cockenzie  ..............................................................................................  17  

    4.9.3   Site  PL6  Analysis  -‐  Seton  Sands  ...........................................................................................  18  

    4.9.4   Site  PL10  Analysis  -‐  Blindwells  .............................................................................................  18  

    4.9.5   Site  PL15  Analysis  -‐  Prestonpans  .........................................................................................  19  

    4.9.6   Summary  of  Stage  4  Assessment  ........................................................................................  19  

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    4.10   Site  Selection  –  Stage  5:  Further  Discussions  and  Assessment  ........................................  20  

    4.10.1   Blindwells  East  .....................................................................................................................  20  

    4.10.2   Meadowmill  ........................................................................................................................  21  

    4.10.3   Final  Assessment  of  site  PL3  ................................................................................................  21  

    References  ....................................................................................................................................  22  

       

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    List  of  Tables  

    Table  4.1:  Summary  of  Stage  3  Site  Assessment  .................................................................................  12    

    List  of  Figures  

    Figure  4.1:  NETS  Connection  Options  ....................................................................................................  3  Figure  4.2:  Timeline  of  Activities  ...........................................................................................................  3  Figure  4.3:  Potential  Landfall  Locations  .................................................................................................  6  Figure  4.4:  Substation  Location  Study  Area  ...........................................................................................  7  Figure  4.5:  Substation  Sites  Identified  ...................................................................................................  9  Figure  4.6:  Cockenzie  and  Seton  Sands  Potential  Landfall  Locations  ..................................................  10  Figure  4.7:  Landholdings  for  Example  Sites  PL3,  PL6,  PL10  and  PL15  ..................................................  17  Figure  4.8:  Site  Identified  as  Offering  Significant  Potential  for  the  Onshore  Substation  Site  ..............  18  Figure  4.9:  Further  Discussion  on  PL3  and  Assessment  of  Two  New  Sites  ..........................................  20    

       

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    Abbreviations  and  Acronyms    

    AC   Alternating  Current  

    AIS   Air  Insulated  Switchgear  

    CCGT   Cockenzie  Combined  Cycle  Gas  Turbine  Power  Station  

    CION   Connection  Infrastructure  Options  Note  

    DC   Direct  Current  

    EIA   Environmental  Impact  Assessment  

    ELC   East  Lothian  Council  

    ES   Environmental  Statement  

    GIS   Gas  Insulated  Switchgear  

    ICOL   Inch  Cape  Offshore  Limited  

    OfTO   Offshore  Transmission  Owner  

    OnTW   Onshore  Transmission  Works  

    PAN   Proposal  of  Application  Notice  

    NETS   National  Electricity  Transmission  System  

     

     

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    4 Site  Selection  and  Alternatives    

    4.1 Introduction  

    1 Part   1   (2)   of   Schedule   4   of   The   Town   and   Country   Planning   (Environmental   Impact  Assessment)   (Scotland)   Regulations   2011   (the   EIA   Regulations),   require   an   Environmental  Statement  (ES)  to  provide  an  outline  of  the  main  alternatives  studied  by  the  applicant.    

    This   chapter   provides   an   overview   of   the   process   by   which   ICOL   identified   the   Application  Site,  as  illustrated  in  Figure  1.1,  and  the  main  reasons  for  the  identification  of  Cockenzie  as  the  connection  point  to  the  National  Electricity  Transmission  System  (NETS).    

    4.2 The  Project  

    4.2.1 Context    

    2 The  requirements  for  OnTW  in  relation  to  the  wider  Project  are  set  out  in  Section  1.1  which  confirms  that  the  OnTW  are  required  to  connect  the  Wind  Farm  to  the  National  Electricity  Transmission   System   (NETS).   As   described   in   Section   1.2.1   ICOL   is   currently   acting   as   an  ‘interim   Offshore   Transmission   Owner   (OfTO)’.   As   an   OfTO,   ICOL   is   required   by   OfGEM   to  deliver  best  value   for  money  to   the  customer  and   justify   their  key  decisions  as  part  of   the  obligations  under  the  Energy  Act  2004.  

    4.2.2 Grid  Connection  Agreement  

    3 During  2011,  a  range  of  possible  locations  where  the  Wind  Farm  could  connect  to  the  NETS  were   identified  through  an   iterative  process   involving   ICOL,  National  Grid  and  the  relevant  onshore  Transmission  Owners,  hereafter  described  as  the  Connection  Infrastructure  Options  Note   (CION)   process.   This   process   included   consideration   of   locations   at   Arbroath   and  Tealing   in   Angus,   several   locations   in   East   Lothian   such   as   New   Branxton,   Cockenzie   and  Torness,  Crystal  Rig  and  locations  in  the  North  East  of  England  at  Blyth  and  Hawthorn  Pit,  as  illustrated  in  Figure  4.1.  

    4 The  principle  criteria  used  to  assess  these  options  were:  

    • Environmental  considerations;  

    • Economics  of  overall  NETS  design  (including  the  OfTO  system);  

    • Programme  of  works  and  contract  dates;  

    • NETS  capability,  constraints  and  requirements  for  wider  improvement  works;  

    • Economically  efficiency  for  the  UK  electricity  consumer;  and  

    • Optimal  nationwide  electrical  solutions.  

    5 The  CION  process  concluded  that  while  the  option  of  connecting  the  Wind  Farm  to  the  NETS  at  Arbroath  would   require  a   shorter  offshore  cable  connection,   the  knock-‐on  effect  would  result   in  requirements  for  significant  onshore  works   including  new  and  upgraded  overhead  

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    power   line   systems.   The   overall   environmental   impact   of   this   option   was   considered   high  and  the  overall  cost  would  not  be  as  economically  efficient  for  the  UK  consumer  compared  to  a  connection  at  Cockenzie.    

    6 Potential   grid   connection   locations   to   North   East   England   were   also   discounted.   Although  such   options   would   remove   the   requirement   for   the   transfer   of   power   flow   across   the  Scotland/England   interconnector,   they   would   significantly   increase   the   length   of   offshore  cable  required  to  reach  landfall.  These  options  would  not  be  as  economically  efficient  for  the  UK  consumer  compared  to  a  connection  at  Cockenzie.  

    7 Other  connections   in  East  Lothian  were  considered  to  be  sub-‐optimal  due  to   the   length  of  onshore  cable  required,  the  third  party  costs  associated  with  wider  NETS  upgrades,  and  the  availability   of   adequate   capacity   to   connect   the   Wind   Farm   within   the   project   timescales.  Limited   capacity   was   available   in   the   Torness/Crystal   Rig   area   due   to   earlier   connection  agreements  relating  to  other  generation  projects.    

    8 Following   the   conclusions   of   this   process   ICOL   accepted   an   onshore   grid   connection   offer  from   National   Grid   Electricity   Transmission   in   January   2012   for   1,050   Megawatts   with   a  connection   point   at   the   existing   substation   at   Cockenzie.   The   outcome   of   this   2011  assessment   was   reviewed   in   2013,   based   upon   updated   assumptions   and   design  information,   and   the   connection   at   Cockenzie   remained   the   optimal   option   to   deliver   the  requirements   and   obligations   of   all   parties   and   best   meeting   the   criteria   used   for   the  assessment.    

    9 Following   acceptance   of   the   grid   connection   offer   in   2012,   ICOL   initiated   an   identification  and  assessment  process  for  a  location  capable  of  accommodating  the  OnTW  and  associated  works  as  close  as  practicable  to  the  NETS  connection  point.    

       

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    Figure  4.1:  NETS  Connection  Options  

     

    4.3 Site  Selection  and  Design  Refinement  

    Once   this   grid   connection   point   was   confirmed,   a   number   of   design   and   site   identification  processes   were   undertaken   in   a   series   of   stages   by   ICOL.   Details   of   these   are   provided   in  Sections  4.4  to  4.9  and  a  timeline  which  provides  an  overview  of  these  tasks  is  shown  below  in  Figure  4.2.  

    Figure  4.2:  Timeline  of  Activities  

     

       

    2015

    Design

    Site  Selection

    2011 2012 2013 2014

    STAGE 1  STUDY  AREA

    CIONSTAGE   2  SITE  

    OPTIONS

    STAGE   3ASSESSMENT

    STAGE   4  FURTHER  ANALYSIS

    STAGE   5  DETAIL  

    DISCUSSIONS

    Detailed  Planning  

    Application  

    LANDFALLSCREENING

    AC  SOLUTION  DECISION

    GIS  SOLUTION  DECISION

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    4.4 Alternatives  

    As   part   of   the   Project   design   and   engineering   processes   a   number   of   technical   solutions  were  considered.  The  evaluation  of  technical  solutions  was  advanced  in  parallel  with  the  site  selection  process,  as  shown  in  the  timeline  above  in  Figure  4.2.    

    4.4.1 Technical  Design  Decisions  

    Alternating  Current  vs  Direct  Current  

    10 Two  technical  solutions  are  possible  for  the  Export  Cables,  either  Alternating  Current  (AC)  or  Direct   Current   (DC).   Analysis   during   engineering   concept   selection   identified   the   following  risks  with  DC  equipment:  

    • Relatively  unproven  technically;  

    • Delivery  timescales  were  longer  than  required;  

    • Larger  footprint  required  offshore  and  onshore;  and  

    • Higher  cost  than  AC.  

    11 These  constraints,  combined  with  further  environmental  and  planning  sensitivities  identified  during  stage  four  of  the  site  selection  process  (Section  4.9),  resulted  in  a  DC  solution  being  ruled  out.    

    Air  Insulated  vs  Gas  Insulated  Switchgear  

    12 Both   Air   Insulated   Switchgear   (AIS)   and   Gas   Insulated   Switchgear   (GIS)   technical   solutions  were  considered  for  the  Onshore  Substation  design.    

    13 National   Grid   Guidelines   (National   Grid   2006)   define   the   type   of   primary   insulation   to   be  used   in   National   Grid   substations.   These   take   into   account   environmental   conditions   and  project   specific   requirements.   The   final   Onshore   Substation   design   decision   was   based   on  the  following  criteria  from  the  National  Grid  Guidelines:  

    • Outdoor  AIS   should  not  be  used  within  5  km  of   the  coast  or   saline  estuary,  unless   the  site  is  reliably  (and  demonstrably)  afforded  protection  from  winds  by  hills  or  structures.  In  this  instance,  the  National  Grid  Guidelines  list  indoor  GIS  as  the  preferred  technology;  and  

    • The  National  Grid  Guidelines  further  state  that  GIS  technology  should  only  be  considered  where  it  offers  the  lowest  lifetime  cost  solution.    

    14 Outdoor  AIS  was  therefore  screened  out  due  to  the  proximity  of  the  Application  Site  being  c.  1  km  from  the  coast.  Economic  analysis  identified  that  a  GIS  solution  and  Indoor  AIS  solution  were  broadly  similar  in  cost.  The  footprint  of  a  GIS  substation  is  significantly  smaller  than  an  Indoor  AIS  substation  and  provided  an  ability  to  microsite  within  the  Application  Site  on  the  basis  of  environmental  and  setting  considerations  to  avoid  some  environmental  constraints  

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    and   to   best   fit   in   the   landform.   Based   on   these   considerations   GIS   was   confirmed   as   the  selected  option  for  the  Onshore  Substation.    

    4.4.2 Export  Cables  Requirements  

    15 As   part   of   the   CION   process   an   early   decision   was   made   that   all   Onshore   Export   Cables  would  be  underground  as  this  removes  any  permanent  visual  intrusion.  

    16 During  engineering  concept  selection,  the  number  of  cables  necessary  to  transmit  electricity  from  the  Wind  Farm  to  the  NETS  reduced  from  six  to  four.  This  was  primarily  based  on  the  identification   of   optimal   materials,   electrical   capacity   requirements   and   installation   costs.  The   identified   corridor   is   60m   wide   with   the   necessary   burial   trenches   not   individually  exceeding   1.5   m   in   width.   The   actual   locations   within   the   identified   corridor   will   be  confirmed  based  on  detailed  design  and  site  investigation.  

    4.5 Landfall  Screening  Options  

    4.5.1 Identification  of  Potential  Landfall  Areas    

    17 An  desktop  evaluation  was  undertaken  of  potential  landfall  locations  along  the  East  Lothian  coast  from  Prestonpans  to  Throntonloch.  Six  potential  locations  were  identified  following  an  analysis   of   offshore   bathymetric   approaches,   offshore   geotechnical   conditions,   and  offshore/coastal   environmental   designations   (see   Figure   4.3   below).   Onshore   cable   route  distances   and   key   environmental,   technical   and   economic   factors   were   considered.  Considering   both   offshore   and   onshore   factors,   two   potential   landfall   locations   were  selected  from  the  screening  process,  at  Cockenzie  and  Seton  Sands.  This  process  is  detailed  in  the  Inch  Cape  Offshore  Environmental  Statement,  Appendix  6B  (ICOL,  2013).  

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    Figure  4.3:  Potential  Landfall  Locations  

     

     

    4.6 Site  Selection  –  Stage  1:  Study  Area  

    4.6.1 Identification  of  Study  Area    

    18 In  mid-‐2012  ICOL  identified  a  ‘Substation  Location  Study  Area’,  within  which  it  would  focus  its  principal  efforts  to  identify  a  site  capable  of  accommodating  the  various  works  associated  with  the  OnTW.    

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    Figure  4.4:  Substation  Location  Study  Area  

     

     

    19 This   study   area   incorporated   the   two   potential   landfall   locations   (Cockenzie   and   Seton  Sands)   and   the   grid   connection   at   the   existing   Cockenzie   Substation   (Figure   4.4).   and  included   land   areas   capable   of   accommodating   the   maximum   potential   dimensions   of   the  Onshore  Substation;  this  was  done  using  the  following  criteria:    

    • Distance   from   the   grid   connection   –   locations   which   minimised   the   potential   for  unacceptable   delay   to   the   delivery   programme   or   significantly   increased   construction  costs  were  considered  less  attractive.  Minimising  distance  from  the  landfall  options  and  the   grid   connection   was   a   priority   in   order   to   meet   the   statutory   duties   outlined   in  Section  4.2.   In  addition,   ICOL  recognised  the  potential   for  disruption  to  the   land  use  or  the  environment  and  sought  to  minimise  the  extent  of  land  which  would  be  affected;  

    • Consideration   of   intervening   land   uses   for   cable   routing   –   given   the   requirement   to  connect   the   Onshore   Export   Cables   to   the   Onshore   Substation   and   then   to   the   grid  connection   point,   it   was   considered   important   to   identify   and   avoid   those   locations  potentially  most  sensitive  to  the  disturbance  caused  by  the  introduction  of  underground  cables   (e.g.   the  qualifying  features  of  environmental  designations  and  residential  areas  within  settlement  boundaries);    

    • Minimise   the   requirement   for   road   and/or   rail   crossings   –   the   requirement   to   cross  roads   and/or   railway   lines   adds   costs   and   complexity   to   the   engineering   process   and  potentially   disrupts   the   operation   of   these   networks.   The   study   area   boundary  

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    considered   the   potential   implications   for   project   engineering   associated   with   these  potential  constraints,  while  at  the  same  time  seeking  to  avoid  being  overly  restrictive  in  identifying  the  initial  Study  Area;  and  

    • Avoid   sites   within   the   urban   area   –   a   decision   was   taken   to   exclude   land   from   within  defined  settlement  boundaries  from  the  Study  Area  as  it  was  considered  sites  of  the  size  required   within   such   locations   would   most   probably   be   more   desirable   locations   for  other   land  uses  e.g.  housing,  employment,  education,   retail.  The  potential   implications  of   disturbance   to   local   residents   and   businesses   associated   with   cable   laying   activities  was   also   a   consideration   in   deciding   to   exclude   areas   with   defined   settlement  boundaries  from  the  Study  Area.  

    4.7 Site  Selection  –  Stage  2:  Identification    

    20 Once   the   Study   Area   was   defined,   ICOL   prepared   an   initial   range   of   planning   and  environmental  criteria  based  on  the  guidelines  set  out   in   the  Horlock  Rules   (National  Grid,  2006)   and   taking   into   account   available   relevant   environmental   and   planning   information  relating   to   the   Study   Area.   The   Horlock   Rules   are   National   Grid’s   guidelines   on   siting   and  design  of  substations.  The  criteria  used  were:  

    • Existing   and   proposed   land   use   designations   as   defined   in   the   East   Lothian   Local   Plan  2008  (the  Local  Plan);  

    • Undetermined   applications   for   planning   permission   or   approved,   but   unbuilt,   planning  permissions;  

    • Cultural  heritage  designations  and  other  relevant  interests;  

    • Landscape  designations  and  sensitive  receptors;  

    • Natural  heritage  designations;  

    • Identified  areas  of  flood  risk;    

    • Other   land   use   constraints   e.g.   areas   safeguarded   for   mineral   extraction,   utilities   and  any  associated  buffer  zones;  and  

    • Proximity  to  other  potential  constraints  e.g.  railway  lines  and  major  roads.  

    21 The   Stage   2   appraisal   using   these   criteria   was   undertaken   in   mid   2012   (see   Figure   4.2  timeline).   This   desk   based   information   was   supplemented   by   information   gathered   in   site  visits.  The  objective  of  this  exercise  was  to  identify  sensitivities  and  constraints  for  areas  able  to  accommodate  the  footprint  of  the  OnTW  which  would  then  be  subject  to  more  detailed  analysis  as  part  of  the  Stage  3  assessment.    

    22 A  multidisciplinary  appraisal  of  potential  Onshore  Substation  Sites  within  the  Study  Area  was  undertaken  using  the  criteria  listed  above.    

    23 ICOL   identified   15   possible   sites   within   the   defined   Study   Area,   using   the   multidisciplinary  approach  describe  above,  which  were  considered  suitable  for  further  detailed  consideration  

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    as  part  of   the  Stage  3  assessment.  These   sites  are   referenced  PL1-‐PL15  and  are   shown  on  Figure  4.5.  

    Figure  4.5:  Substation  Sites  Identified    

     

     

    4.8 Site  Selection  –  Stage  3:  Assessment    

    4.8.1 Overview  

    24 More  detailed  assessment  of  each  of  the  15  site  options  was  undertaken  considering  each  in  relation   to   the   two   potential   landfall   locations,   at   Cockenzie   and   Seton   Sands   (Figure   4.6),  and  potential  associated  cable  corridors.  

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    Figure  4.6:  Cockenzie  and  Seton  Sands  Potential  Landfall  Locations  

     

     

    4.8.2 Landscape  and  Visual  Analysis    

    25 As  part  of  the  Stage  3  assessment,  an  initial  appraisal  of  the  potential   landscape  and  visual  impacts   associated   with   the   15   identified   potential   Onshore   Substation   Sites   was   also  undertaken.   This   analysis   considered   each   of   the   potential   Onshore   Substation   Sites   in  relation  to  landscape  character,  landscape  designations,  visual  receptors  e.g.  local  residents,  recreational  receptors  as  well  as  paths,  road  and  rail  users.    

    26 At  this  stage  of  the  assessment  process,  ICOL  introduced  broad  parameters  of  potential  size  of   the   Onshore   Substation   into   the   analysis   to   ensure   the   landscape   and   visual   analysis  considered  potential  building  scale.  The  configuration  of  the  substation  was  not  final,  so  the  landscape   and   visual   analysis   progressed   on   the   basis   of   the   maximum   parameters   which  included  a  building  height  of  up  to  25  m,  which  was  based  on  an  indoor  AIS  maximum  size,  although   smaller   GIS   solutions   were   also   considered   against   site   parameters   to   ensure  potentially  suitable  sites  were  not  ruled  out.    

    27 Initially,  the  appraisal  comprised  a  desk  based  study  of  available  information  which  was  later  supplemented  by  site  inspections.  The  findings  of  the  landscape  and  visual  appraisal  fed  into  the  wider  Stage  3  multidisciplinary  assessment.  

       

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    4.8.3 Engineering  Considerations    

    28 The  Stage  3  engineering  assessment  comprised  an  overview  of  the  potential  safety,  technical  and   engineering   complexity   associated   with   each   of   the   15   potential   Onshore   Substation  Sites,   including   an   overview   of   landfall   at   both   Cockenzie   and   Seton   Sands.   The   following  were  considered  as  part  of  this  assessment:  

    • The  requirement  for  major  road  and  rail  crossings;    

    • Traffic  and  access  requirements;  

    • Site  stability;  

    • Presence  of  utilities;  

    • Length  of  Onshore  Export  Cables  required;  

    • Specific  engineering  issues  associated  with  landfall;  and    

    • Issues  associated  with  connecting  to  the  NETS.  

    4.8.4 Development  Programme    

    29 Consideration  was  given  to  a  number  of  programme  risks,  including:  

    • The  likely  duration  of  the  construction  programme  associated  with  each  of  the  15  sites  to  gauge  which  were  more  likely  to  meet  ICOL’s  overall  Project  programme  (for  example  the  extent  of  other  matters  which  would  need  to  be  agreed  with  statutory  undertakers  and  other  agencies  e.g.  agreements  for  railway  crossings);    

    • Technical  complexities  of  connecting  the  Onshore  Export  Cables  to  each  site;  

    • Construction  of  the  Onshore  Substation;  and    

    • Interactions   with   neighbouring   land   uses   (whether   existing,   approved,   adopted   or  proposed).  

    4.8.5 Economic  Considerations  

    30 Consideration   was   given   to   the   potential   costs   of   constructing   the   OnTW   at   each   of   the  identified   potential   sites,   considering   costs   associated   with   landfall   at   both   Cockenzie   and  Seton  Sands.  Factors  considered  as  part  of  this  exercise  included  an  assessment  of  the  cable  length  requirements  for  each  site  and  associated  costs  for  each,  costs  associated  with  major  road  and  rail  crossings,  and  costs  associated  with  bringing  the  Onshore  Export  Cables  ashore  at  each  of  the  two  landfall  locations.  

    4.8.6 Land  Availability  

    31 Information  relating  to  establishing  land  ownership  information  was  gained  for  each  of  the  15   sites   and   potential   cable   corridor   areas.   Various   landowners   were   approached   and  feasibility   discussions   commenced,   where   possible,   to   ascertain   the   availability   of   the  preferred  sites.  

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    4.8.7 Summary  of  Stage  3  Assessment  

    32 The  Stage  3  assessment  of  the  15  sites  culminated   in  a  workshop  in  July  2012  attended  by  relevant   ICOL   team   members   and   consideration   of   each   site   against   a   range   of   planning,  environmental  and  technical  criteria.  The  outcome  of  the  workshop  identified  a  shortlist  of  sites   which   were   considered   suitable   for   further   analysis   as   well   as   giving   greater  consideration   to   the   potential   route   of   a   cable   corridor   study   area,   between   the   two  potential   landfall   locations  and  the  grid  connection  point  at  Cockenzie.  The  remaining  sites  were   discounted   for   planning,   environmental   or   technical   considerations,   as   summarised  below  in  Table  4.1  

    Table  4.1:  Summary  of  Stage  3  Site  Assessment    

    ICOL  Site  Reference  

    Factors  in  favour  of  the  site  

    Factors  against  the  site   Stage  4  Assessed  

    Yes/No  

    PL1   –  adjacent   to  Preston  Links  

    Proximity   to   connection  point.   Access   from   road  system.   Site   is   within  single   ownership   and   is  partly   located   with   an  area   safeguarded   for   use  as  or   in  association  with  a  power  generating  station.    

    Whole  site  located  in  designated  area  of  open   space   in   local   plan   policy   C3.  Potentially   high   landscape   and   visual  impacts,   proximity   to   European,   and  national   environmental   designations,  presence   of   utilities   and   redundant  mine   shaft.   Proximity   of   consented  Combined   Cycle   Gas   Turbine   (CCGT)  plant   and   gas   pipeline   at   Cockenzie   a  potential   spatial   and   temporal   conflict  during  construction.  Land  not  available.  

    No  

    PL2   –  adjacent   to  Cockenzie  Substation  

    Proximity   to   connection  point.   Access   from   road  system.   Site   is   within  single   ownership   and   is  partly   located   with   an  area   safeguarded   for   use  as  or   in  association  with  a  power  generating  station.    

    Site   located   in   area   of   designated   area  of   open   space   in   local   plan   policy   C3.  Potentially   high   landscape   and   visual  impacts.   Proximity   of   consented  Combined   Cycle   Gas   Turbine   (CCGT)  plant   and   gas   pipeline   at   Cockenzie   a  potential   spatial   and   temporal   conflict  during  construction.  High  risk  site  due  to  being   directly   under   high   voltage  overhead   lines.   Congestion   of   new   and  existing   buried   electricity   cables.   Land  not  available.  

    No  

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    ICOL  Site  Reference  

    Factors  in  favour  of  the  site  

    Factors  against  the  site   Stage  4  Assessed  

    Yes/No  

    PL3   –   at   or  around  Coal  Store  

    Proximity   to   connection  point.   Access   from   road  system.   Incorporates  areas   of   brownfield   land.  Site   is   within   single  ownership   and   is   partly  located   with   an   area  safeguarded  for  use  as  or  in   association   with   a  power  generating  station.  Potential   to   mitigate  landscape   or   micro-‐site  development   to   avoid  cultural  heritage  features.  Land   potentially  available.  

    Proximity   to   archaeology   and   cultural  heritage   features   including  Waggonway   and   Prestonpans  Battlefield.   Proximity   to   some   utilities  and  redundant  mine  shaft.  Proximity  to  consented   gas   pipeline   corridor   to   be  considered.   Marginally   longer   onshore  cable  route  than  PL1  or  PL2.  

    Yes  

    PL4   –   north  west   of  Seton  Mains  West  

    Proximity   to   connection  point.   No   obvious  technical   or   engineering  constraints   at   substation  site.   Access   from   road  system.    

    Site   located   entirely   with   land  designated  as  Policy  DC1   (Development  in   the   Countryside)   under   the   East  Lothian   Local   Plan   2008   (East   Lothian  2008)  with   inward  views   from  the  east.  High   voltage   overhead   line   passes  through   the   site   and   large   scale   earth  bunding/screening   required   due   to  nearby   buildings   and   open   views.  Directly   in   view   of   core   of   Prestonpans  Battlefield.  

    No  

    PL5   –   near  Seton  House  

    No   obvious   technical   or  engineering   constraints   at  substation   site.   Mid   way  between   landfalls   could  provide  flexibility.  

    Located  further  east  than  PL4,  this  site  is  also   located   within   land   designated   in  the   Local   Plan   as   countryside   (DC1).  Longer   and   more   complex   onshore  cable   route.   Considered   to   be   of   high  sensitivity  in  landscape  terms  due  to  the  proximity   of   nearby   housing   to   the  north,   Seton   House   and   Prestonpans  Battlefield.   Large   scale   earth  bunding/screening   required   due   to  nearby  buildings  and  open  views.  

    No  

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    ICOL  Site  Reference  

    Factors  in  favour  of  the  site  

    Factors  against  the  site   Stage  4  Assessed  

    Yes/No  

    PL6   –   east  of   Seton  Mains  

    Site   is   largely   screened  from   view   from   nearby  residential  properties  due  to  existing  tree  screening.  Potential   to   mitigate  landscape   or   micro-‐site  development  to  minimise  visual.   No   obvious  technical   or   engineering  constraints   at   substation  site.  Close  to  Seton  Sands  landfall.    

    Site   located   within   land   designated   as  open   countryside   to   west   of  Longniddry   settlement   boundary.  Longer   and   more   complex   onshore  cable  route.  

    Yes  

    PL7   –   south  east   of  Longniddry  

    Reasonably  close  to  Seton  Sands   landfall.   Access  from  road  system.  

    Site   located   within   land   designated   as  open   countryside   (DC1)   to   south   of  main  east  coast  railway  line.  Crossing  of  railway   line   required   with   associated  costs   and   technical   complexities.   Need  for   new   access   road   (circa   5km),   with  associated   costs   and   visual   impacts.  Proximity   to   consented   gas   pipeline  corridor   to   be   considered.   Site  considered  one  of  the  most  sensitive  of  all  15  in  landscape  and  visual  terms.  

    No  

    PL8   –   near  Macmerry  Industrial  Estate  

    Immediately   adjacent   to  existing   Macmerry  Industrial   Estate   and  fewer   landscape   and  visual   concerns.   Access  from   local   road   system   to  potential  substation  site.  

    Located  within   land  designated  as  open  countryside.   Significant   distances   from  both   landfall   location   (approximately   6  km)  and  grid  connection  (approximately  5   km).   Longer   and   more   complex   cable  routes   and   requirement   to   cross   east  coast   railway   line.   High   cost   and  development  programme  implications.    

    No  

    PL9   –   south  east   corner  of  Blindwells  

    Access   from   local   road  system   to   potential  substation   site.   Land  potentially  available.  

    Not   considered   consistent   with  Blindwells   strategic   residential  allocation.   Possible   programme   issues  due   to   potential   parallel   construction.  Possible   land   stability/contamination  issues  associated  with  previous  use  as  a  coal  mine  as  well  as  presence  of  several  abandoned  mine  shafts.  Longer  distance  from   both   landfall   locations   than   other  options.   Visually   prominent   and   open  site.  

    No  

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    ICOL  Site  Reference  

    Factors  in  favour  of  the  site  

    Factors  against  the  site   Stage  4  Assessed  

    Yes/No  

    PL10   -‐  west  side   of  Blindwells  

    Considered   most   suitable  of   sites   identified   within  wider   Blindwells  allocation.  Topography  of  the   site   provides  opportunity   to   minimise  potential   impacts   on  existing   receptors.   Land  potentially  available.  

    Possible   land   stability/contamination  issues   associated   with   previous   use   as  a   coal   mine   as   well   as   presence   of  several  abandoned  mine  shafts.  Longer  distance   from   both   landfall   locations  than   other   options.   Crossing   of   east  coast  main  line  required.    

    Yes  

    PL11   –north   west  corner   of  Blindwells  

    Topography   of   the   site  provides   some  opportunity   to   reduce  potential   impacts   on  existing   receptors.   Land  potentially  available.  

    Not   considered   consistent   with  Blindwells   strategic   residential  allocation.   Possible   programme   issues  due   to   potential   parallel   construction.  Possible   land   stability/contamination  issues  associated  with  previous  use  as  a  coal  mine  as  well  as  presence  of  several  abandoned  mine  shafts.  Longer  distance  from   both   landfall   locations.   Proximity  to  consented  gas  pipeline  corridor  to  be  considered.   Large   pond   on   site   and  dismantled  railway  runs  through  site.    

    No  

    PL12   –  north   east  corner   of  Blindwells  

    Topography   of   the   site  provides   some  opportunity   to   reduce  potential   impacts   on  existing   receptors.   Land  potentially  available.  

    Near   to   Blindwells   Mine   Water  Treatment   Plant.   Possible   programme  issues   due   to   potential   parallel  construction.   Possible   land  stability/contamination   issues  associated   with   previous   use   as   a   coal  mine   as   well   as   presence   of   several  abandoned  mine  shafts.  Longer  distance  from   both   landfall   locations.   Proximity  of   east   coast   railway   line   a   potential  issue   for   parallel   cable   corridor.  Proximity   to   consented   gas   pipeline  corridor   to   be   considered.   Considered  more   visually   prominent   than   PL10   and  PL11.  

    No  

    PL13  –  near  Seton  Mains  West  

    No   significant   obvious  technical   or   engineering  constraints   at   substation  site.   Mid   way   between  landfalls   could   provide  flexibility.  

    Located  within   land  designated  as  open  countryside   to   north   of   east   coast  railway   line.   High   visual   sensitivity   due  to   open   and   small   scale   nature   of  landscape.   Screening   and   bunding  would   be   highly   visible   due   to   open  nature   of   landscape.  Directly   in   view   of  core  of  Prestonpans  Battlefield.  

    No  

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    ICOL  Site  Reference  

    Factors  in  favour  of  the  site  

    Factors  against  the  site   Stage  4  Assessed  

    Yes/No  

    PL14  –  near  Dolphinstone  

    Located  adjacent  to  waste  recycling   plant   and  landscape   and   visual  issues   may   be   limited.  Potential   to   offer  alternative   landfall   at  Prestonpans   if   other  landfalls   proved  technically   unfeasible.  Reasonable   local   road  access.  

    Site   allocated   within   designated   Green  Belt.   Not   suited   to   Seton   Sands   or  Cockenzie  landfall.  Previously  used  as  an  open  cast  mine  with  several  abandoned  mineshafts.   High   voltage   critical  infrastructure   would   be   affected   and  diversion   of   BT   services   required.  Crossing  of  east  coast  rail  line  required.  

    No  

    PL15  –  near  Drummohr  

    Large   site   with   potential  to   mitigate   landscape   or  micro-‐site   development  to   minimise   visual  impact.   Limited  technical/engineering  constraints   at   substation  site.   Potential   to   offer  alternative   landfall   at  Prestonpans   if   other  landfalls   proved  technically   unfeasible.  Reasonable   local   road  access.  

    Site  allocated  within  designated  Green  Belt.   Not   suited   to   Seton   Sands   or  Cockenzie   landfall.   Crossing   of   east  coast   rail   line   may   be   required   due   to  developed  areas.  

    Yes  

     

    33 The   Stage   3   site   assessment   concluded   that   the   landholding   areas   within   which   sites   PL3,  PL6,  PL10  and  PL15  were  located  should  be  taken  forward  for  further  analysis  as  part  of  the  Stage  4  assessment  (see  Figure  4.7).    

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    Figure  4.7:  Landholdings  for  Example  Sites  PL3,  PL6,  PL10  and  PL15  

     

     

    4.9 Site  Selection  –  Stage:  Further  Analysis    

    4.9.1 Overview  

    34 The   Stage   4   assessment   considered   land   ownership   issues   in   more   detail   based   on  discussions   with   landowners   or   their   agents.   A   more   detailed   review   of   technical   issues  associated   with   each   site   and   associated   costs   of   connecting   these   sites   to   the   landfall  locations  at  Cockenzie  and  Seton  Sands  and  the  grid  connection  point.  A  summary  of  the  key  findings  associated  with  the  Stage  4  assessment  are  presented  on  a  site  by  site  basis  below.  

    4.9.2 Site  PL3  Analysis  –  Cockenzie    

    35 This  site  comprises  land  at  and  adjacent  to  the  coal  store,  located  to  the  south  of  Cockenzie  Power   Station   and   includes   land   identified   as   part   of   the   Application   Site   (referred   to   in  Figure  5.1  as  the   Indicative  Onshore  Substation  Site).  This  site   is  within  the  ownership  of  a  single   landowner   and   ICOL   initiated   discussions   with   the   landowner   to   investigate   the  potential  feasibility  of  the  site  for  the  Onshore  Substation.  

    36 During  these  discussions,  the  landowner  explained  to  ICOL  that  land  within  and  to  the  north  of   the   coal   store   was   not   available.   However,   the   landowner   advised   that   land   to   the  immediate   south  of   the  coal   store  was  potentially  available.   Subsequent  appraisal  by   ICOL  focused  on  this  area  of  PL3  and  considered  potential  Onshore  Export  Cable  Corridors  to  this  

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    site   from   the   two   potential   landfall   locations.   This   planning,   environmental   and   technical  appraisal   together   with   landowner   willingness   to   further   explore   matters,   resulted   in   this  part  of  PL3  being  identified  as  a  site  offering  significant  potential  for  the  Onshore  Substation  Site  based  on  either  landfall  at  Cockenzie  or  Seton  Sands,  although  landfall  at  Cockenzie  was  considered  preferable.  

    Figure  4.8:  Site  Identified  as  Offering  Significant  Potential  for  the  Onshore  Substation  Site  

     

     

    4.9.3 Site  PL6  Analysis  -‐  Seton  Sands  

    37 Commercial   discussions   with   landowners   were   initiated   in   2012   however   the   potential  substation   site   was   sold   in   late   2012   and   thereafter   was   not   available.   This   option   was  therefore  not  progressed  any  further.    

    4.9.4 Site  PL10  Analysis  -‐  Blindwells  

    38 Early  discussions  with  the  owner  of   this  site  confirmed  they  were  agreeable   in  principle  to  ICOL   considering   further   the   potential   of   this   site   for   the   Onshore   Substation.   A   key  consideration   was   how   any   Onshore   Substation   could   be   accommodated   within   the  masterplan   for   the   strategic   housing   site,   both   in   terms   of   location   and   development  programme.    

    39 Discussions   were   then   held   with   representatives   from   East   Lothian   Council’s   Planning  Department  who  raised  concerns  about  the  compatibility  of  locating  the  Onshore  Substation  within  the  strategic  housing  site.  ICOL  was  subsequently  advised  that  they  were  considering  

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    revisions   to   the   scope   of   the   masterplan   for   the   site   and   were   considering   submitting   a  Proposal  of  Application  Notice  (PAN)  in  respect  of  these  proposed  revisions  (now  submitted  under   reference   13/00009/PAN).   Having   considered   the   respective   development  programmes  and  the  potential  for  conflict  with  the  emerging  masterplan,  ICOL  decided  not  to  progress  interest  on  this  site  further.  

    40 As   part   of   discussions   regarding   PL10,   it   became   known   that   there   may   be   scope   to  accommodate  the  Onshore  Substation  within  land  further  to  the  east  of  the  strategic  release  allocation,  also  within  the  control  of  the  landowner.  This  site  is  discussed  further  in  Section  4.10.  

    4.9.5 Site  PL15  Analysis  -‐  Prestonpans  

    41 Results  from  site  investigation  of  the  technical  suitability  of  the  principle  landfall  locations  at  Cockenzie   and   Seton   Sands   were   positive   for   each   location.   Further   consideration   of   PL15  was   therefore   not   required   as   this   option   would   only   suit   a   landfall   at   Prestonpans   and  overall  this  site  was  considered  less  suitable  than  PL3,  PL6  or  PL10.    

    4.9.6 Summary  of  Stage  4  Assessment    

    42 The  Stage  4  site  assessment  exercise  concluded  that   land  to  the  south  of   the  coal  store  as  part  of  site  PL3  was  the  preferred  site  for  the  Onshore  Substation  as  it  offered  the  following  key  advantages  over  the  other  identified  sites:  

    • Proximity  to  landfall  option;  

    • Proximity  to  grid  connection  at  Cockenzie;  

    • Landowner   agreeable,   in   principle,   to   accommodating   Onshore   Substation   on   land  (restricted  to  land  to  south  of  coal  store);  

    • Favourable  in  relation  to  National  and  Local  planning  considerations;  

    • Potential   to   minimise   disturbance   from   cable   laying   on   local   communities,   and   other  receptors,   by   limiting   distance   Onshore   Export   Cables   need   to   travel   between   landfall  and  Onshore  Substation  and  back  to  grid  connection  to  a  relatively  short  distance  (c  2.3  km);  

    • Ability   to   maintain   existing   access   infrastructure   from   B6371   (subject   to   potential  improvements);  

    • Land  already  partly  disturbed/developed  as  part  of  railway  link  to  coal  store  and  historic  use  related  to  the  coal  store  and  power  station;  

    • Presence  of  existing  tree  planting  to  east  along  B6371  offers  well  established  screening;  

    • Potential   for   design   refinement   (including   footprint   definition)   during   Project   detailed  design  and  further  ELC  planning  processes;  and  

    • Significant  electrical   infrastructure  already  present   in   locality  e.g.   towers  and  overhead  lines.  

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    4.10 Site  Selection  –  Stage  5:  Further  Discussions  and  Assessment    

    43 Following   identification   of   land   at   site   PL3   as   a   potentially   favourable   location   for   the  Onshore   Substation,   ICOL   commenced   detailed   discussions   with   the   landowner   in   2013  regarding   site   acquisition.   While   these   discussions   were   ongoing,   two   further   potential  Onshore   Substation   Sites   were   identified   as   potentially   available   in   the   land   market   and  these   were   considered   against   the   planning,   environmental   and   technical   criteria   used   in  Stage  2  and  3  to  ascertain  their  potential  suitability  for  an  Onshore  Substation.  These  sites  are  shown  on  Figure  4.9  below  are  referred  to  as  PL10  (Blindwells  East  -‐  Further  Assessment  Area)  and  Meadowmill,  as  discussed  below.  

    Figure  4.9:  Further  Discussion  on  PL3  and  Assessment  of  Two  New  Sites  

     

     

    4.10.1 Blindwells  East    

    44 Blindwells   East   refers   to   land   to   the   immediate   east   of   the   existing   strategic   housing   land  allocation   at   Blindwells   and   was   brought   to   the   attention   of   ICOL   as   part   of   the   land  discussions   regarding   site   PL10   (see   Section   4.9).   This   site   is   located   within   an   area   of  designated  open  countryside  to  the  south  of  the  A198  and  the  east  coast  main  line.    

    45 After  careful  consideration,   ICOL  decided  not  to  progress  with  any  further   land  searches   in  this  area  as,   in  general,   the   land  exhibited  many  of   the  characteristics  associated  with  site  PL12,  which  had  earlier  been  discounted   from  further  consideration  as  part  of   the  Stage  2  assessment,   see   Table   4.1.   Furthermore,   land   at   site   PL3   had   emerged   as   preferred  

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    potentially  favourable  site  as  part  of  the  Stage  4  assessment  and  it  was  considered  that  site  remained  preferable  to  Blindwells  East   in   terms  of  planning,  environmental,  economic  and  technical  considerations.  

    4.10.2 Meadowmill  

    46 In  late  2013  ICOL  was  made  aware  that  land  at  and  including  the  former  St.  Joseph’s  School  at  Meadowill  was  being  marketed.  This  site  is  located  between  the  B1361  and  the  A1,  and  to  the  immediate  west  of  the  A198.  The  area  of  land  comprised  in  the  sale  extended  to  6.53ha  and  included  the  former  school  site  and  associated  buildings  and  an  area  of  open  ground  to  the  north.  Parts  of  the  building  complex  are  listed  and  the  site  contains  housing.  The  site  is  in  close  proximity  to  the  east  coast  main  line.  

    47 Following  a  review  of  planning,  environment,  economic  and  technical  criteria,  ICOL  decided  not   to  progress   interest   in   the  site   further  as   it  was  considered   that   the  configuration  and  siting   of   the   land   available   was   not   suitable   to   accommodate   the   Onshore   Substation   Site  and  associated  infrastructure.    

    4.10.3 Final  Assessment  of  site  PL3  

    48 Following  further  commercial  discussions,  an  agreement  (in  principle)  has  been  reached  with  the   landowner   of   site   PL3   for   a   potential   option   to   acquire   the   site   for   the   purpose   of  developing   an   Onshore   Substation   with   associated   rights   to   locate   cables   in   a   corridor  reaching  landfall  within  the  landholding  at  Cockenzie.  Based  on  this   ICOL  has  proceeded  to  prepare  an  application  for  Planning  Permission  in  Principle  (including  this  ES)  for  the  OnTW  and  Onshore  Export  Cables  based  on  a  landfall  at  Cockenzie  which  represents  the  preferred  combination   in   terms   of   planning,   environmental,   economic   and   technical   and   land  considerations.  

       

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    References  

    Scottish  Government  2011,  Planning  Circular  3  2011:  The  Town  and  Country  Planning  (Environmental  Impact  Assessment)  (Scotland)  Regulations  2011,  available  at  http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Publications/2011/06/01084419/0  

    National  Grid,  2006  Guidelines  on  Substation  Siting  and  Design  (The  Horlock  Rules)    

    East  Lothian,  2008.  East  Lothian  Local  Development  Plan  2008,  available  at  http://www.eastlothian.gov.uk/downloads/download/317/the_adopted_east_lothian_local_plan_2008_text  

    Inch  Cape  Offshore  Environmental  Statement,  Appendix  6B  (ICOL,  2013)  available  at  http://www.inchcapewind.com/files/Environmental_Statement_Structure/Chapter6/Appendix6B.pdf  

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